The United States could soon lift its ban on HIV-positive travellers if enough support is garnered under a current policy review.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has proposed HIV be removed from the list of diseases that prevent non-US citizens from entering the country, even for short periods.

The department’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently calling on the public to send in comments on the proposed changes before a decision is made.

HHS has the power to overturn the ban which stems from laws implemented at the height of the AIDS crisis in 1987. Lobbyists say these laws are outdated and discriminatory and do not reduce the risk of the virus’ spread.

Under current regulations, non-US citizens who are HIV-positive cannot enter the country unless granted a waiver by the Department of Homeland Security.

If the proposed changes are made, HIV screening for immigration will be eased, waivers will no longer be required and HIV will no longer be included on the list of communicable diseases of public health significance.

Currently, it is estimated more than 1 million Americans live with HIV.

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